MR ALAN JONES
Welcome to the new school year to our returning and new students, parents and staff. I made comment at our first assembly last week that this is a significant time for all those that are new here and particularly those who have joined us as boarders for the first time. What we all have in common though, students and staff alike, is that we have all experienced a first day at TAS and that engenders a natural empathy for our new students, and I am confident that they will be welcomed in the best traditions of our student body.
As we begin a new year, we welcome back staff who were on leave at the end of last year – Mrs Leasa Cleaver and Mrs Rachel Piddington – both returning from maternity leave, and we welcome a number academic staff as the new year begins including seven new teachers.
Mr Huon Barrett joins us as the new Director of Co-Curricular and will also be in the PDHPE department
Mrs Lorna Ahern will be in the HSIE department
Mr Tom Collett joins the Music team
Mrs Jess Collett joins the English department
Ms Ingrid Steddy is an addition to the TAS department
Mr Jordan Lane also joins the English department
Miss Charlotte Low will be teaching Music in the Junior School.
Congratulations to Ms Catey Curtin on welcoming a daughter over the holidays.
Coast weekend presented the perfect opportunity for our new students and those joining a new house to establish the friendships and relationships that are so important in these first few weeks of school and it was good to see such a positive atmosphere and fun being had across the houses.
The Year 7 year group also attended camp at Bonville over the weekend. Based on the success of last year’s camp in much more trying conditions, this is the second time we have provided the opportunity for all our Year 7’s to begin their school journey as a group. Day students and boarders combined in groups designed to create a real sense of having to unite and support each other; and the beginnings of many friendships were formed.
I would like to thank all of the staff who accompanied the students and assisted them to achieve the outcomes we were seeking as a school.
On a broader front this will be a week for our students to again become accustomed to the routine of the timetable, regular classes and sporting commitments. I was very pleased with the structure of our Student Administration Days last week as it enabled all of our students to be made aware of what their commitments will be for the year, as well as allowing us to provide a warm and extended welcome to our new students, our returning students and our boarder parents through a variety of functions and activities. I offer my thanks publicly to all of the people in our Enrolments Office who worked so diligently to ensure that this was a success.
While there is much that is new to celebrate about 2021 one thing that continues is our commitment to adhering to the appropriate guidelines for COVID-19. The most recent Q&A with Dr Kerry Chant outlined the protocols for schools to manage parents and other visitors on campus, and these of course will be dependant on the rollout of the proposed vaccination program and the occurrence of any outbreak. In the short term, this will affect attendance at our Junior School and Senior School swimming carnivals next week, including Warcries Night on Thursday. You will have received this afternoon a letter from myself that outlines these restrictions in detail, and I thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Head of School
|Wednesday 3 February||P&F Meeting|
|Thursday 4 February||JS Parent Information Night (7pm)|
|Sunday 7 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
|Monday 8 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
|Tuesday 9 February||Swimming – Butterfly and IM (5.30 pm) (Year 12 parents only)|
|Thursday 11 February||JS Swimming Carnival (No parents)|
|Warcries (5.30 pm) (Year 12 parents only)|
|Friday 12 February||Senior School Swimming Carnival (Year 12 parents only)|
|Saturday 13 February||Trial Bay Triathlon – South West Rocks|
|Monday 15 February||Scholarship and Open Day – Find out more…|
|Friday 19 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
|Saturday 20 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
|Sunday 21 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
MR LUKE POLSON
Welcome to all our new students and parents and welcome back to those returning to another busy year at TAS. As the new year begins, it is important to know who you should go to discuss your child’s academic progress.
The TAS Advisor system is a unique opportunity to develop relationships and support between the student and their Advisor. Advisors meet with their students for 20 minutes each Monday to Thursday. If you have any concerns about your child whether it be pastoral or academic your first contact should be with your child’s Advisor.
Students in Years 11 and 12 who wish to change subjects should meet with Mr Mark Taylor to discuss options. A subject change form needs to be completed and signed by the teachers involved, the Advisor and parents before this is approved. Mr Taylor is also the person to see in regards to career options and university information.
In regards to Disability Provisions, Mrs Regina Pollard is the person to contact for Years 6-8 and Mrs Wendy Hill for Years 9-12.
All subject/elective changes need to finalised by the end of this week. After this, changes to 9/10 electives will not be possible. Students in Year 9 and 10 will choose Semester 2 electives at the end of Term 2. Any changes to Year 11 subjects from next week will require a subject change form as detailed above.
All students should use their School Diary to note when assessments and homework are due and to prioritise and organise their time wisely. Please encourage your child to make full use of the diary. As students move into their senior school years it is important they start early in their preparation, organisation and focus. Teachers are happy to make themselves available if a student requires extra help. The student should approach the teacher to organise a suitable time.
TAS will once again operate the school’s Extended Day Program for those students who wish to use The Hub at the start and/or end of the school day to complete homework, assessments or extra study and revision. The Hub is supervised at all times during the extended opening hours. A tutoring schedule will be published once it is finalised.
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
The TAS Parents and Friends (P&F) would like to give a big welcome to all new and returning parents, students and staff. 2021 looks to be another complicated year for school and the P&F, with COVID continuing to throw some spanners in the works.
As a kickoff to the year, it was lovely to meet some new parents and some old friends last Wednesday evening (27 January) at the White Bull Hotel. The P&F will try to organise as many P&F and year group functions as we can throughout the year (COVID safe of course) – watch this space!!
The P&F consists of a core group of executive and committee members, year group Liaison Parents, and the wider parent community. Over the next few weeks I will be using TAS Talks to explain who we are, what we do, how you can help, and any other interesting information we can think to add.
If you have any queries about things P&F related, please feel free to contact the Executive. This consists of:
We can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling school reception or Rachael on 0418 980 662. Alternatively, we have a Facebook page (join us using the keywords TAS Parents and Friends).
Each year group has Liaison Parents… These are people who ‘know the ropes’ around TAS and are the ‘first port of call’ for people wanting to know what is going on in your year and at school. LPs are the heart of the Year group communities, help new families settle in, organise fun year group events and act as a conduit from the P&F including asking for baking and helpers at various P&F events throughout the year (fingers crossed we can do this!).
Each Year Group has its own Facebook page. These are closed groups for parents to catch up on what’s happening. Please search for TAS Year 12 and the year that your child will graduate from year 12. For example, my son is in Year 12 in 2023 so that year’s Facebook page is TAS Year 12 2023. The newest class to the school is this year’s Transition: TAS Year 12 2034!
TAS Talks next week will have more information about who your Liaison Parents are.
During the Swimming Carnivals which will be held next week (Junior – Thursday 11 and Senior Friday 12 February) the P&F usually operates cake stalls. However the attendance of adults at these events is being clarified as I write and will be communicated more fully with a letter emailed to Junior School parents from Mr Lloyd and to Middle and Senior School parents from Mr Jones. Please read these letters carefully; information will also be communicated through the P&F Facebook pages.
Our first P&F meeting will be tonight Wednesday 3 February at 7 pm in Lower Maxwell Room – turn left inside the entrance to the main school building and follow the noise. All are welcome and we’d love to see you there. Drinks and nibbles are provided. Please scan the QR code on the front door as you come in, use the hand sanitizer, and remember to socially distance.
If you wish to attend from a distance, we have also set up a Zoom meeting. Please email the P&F on email@example.com and we’ll send you the link.
Items on the agenda include the TAS Rugby Carnival in April and trying to organise some COVID friendly get-togethers.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR HUON BARRETT
As Summer Sports continue this term, I spoke with all students in Assembly about the importance of high expectations. In particular, students have an obligation to ensure that they are:
Please find the Summer Sports Training Schedule for Term 1 2021Summer Sports
For games played outside of regular School hours visiting players and spectators must scan in through the QR code and abide by COVID regulations.
This week students have had the opportunity to nominated for events at the TAS Middle/Senior School Swimming Championship. Students are encouraged to compete in multiple events. Events will be held at the following times.
Tuesday 9 February, 5.30-7.30pm – 50m Butterfly and 200m IM (Competitors Only)
Thursday 11 February, 5.30-8.30pm – War Cries (Students and Year 12 Parents Only)
Friday 12 February – 8.30am-3.30pm – All remaining events (Students and Year 12 Parents Only)
Please find a link to the program below.Swimming Schedule
On Friday 12 February, competitors for the first event of the day (Boys U12 50m freestyle) should report to the marshalling area (southeast corner of the gym) by 8:45am. All remaining competitors and House members are to be seated by 8:50am.
Starts will be ‘over the top’. ie the swimmer in the pool at the end of the previous race remains in the water (and holds onto the lane rope) until the next race has begun whereupon the swimmer immediately exits.
There are a huge number of heats to get through so no false starts are allowed. If you ‘false start’ you will still be allowed to swim for a ‘time’ but will not gain any points for your House or age championships in that event.
Dress will be House polo shirts and blue shorts. Day students may travel to and from TAS in the above clothing (plus shoes). All competitors must swim in TAS swimmers.
All competitors will wear a House swim cap. These will be provided to all students to keep. This will make it much easier for spectators to identify which house each competitor is in.
Because of the chlorine in the pool water, competitors are strongly advised to wear goggles.
You may not colour your hair, nor write on your body with a texta pen (except on the House War Cries Competition night). Except for water, no food or drink may be consumed in the pool area. Students may not leave the Sports Centre area without permission from their respective Heads of House.
Times swum in these Championships will be used to determine which students will be selected in TAS teams to compete at NCIS carnival (plus PSSA for Year 6 students)
Year 12 parents attending the carnival must scan in through the QR code and abide by COVID regulations.
Please find the link to the Music Ensemble below.
Please find the link to the Practice Times below.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Welcome back to the second instalment of the 2020/21 cricket season at TAS! This weekend, the Armidale District Cricket Association will be hosting the annual ‘Pink Stumps Day’ across the various Junior and Senior fixtures around our region. Pink Stumps Day is an initiative founded by the McGrath Foundation, to promote Breast Care awareness and raise funds for breast care nurses around the country. Keener cricketers amongst our community may be aware that the annual New Year’s Test Match in Sydney turns pink on day 3, this year selling ‘virtual’ seats at the match to raise funds.
I ask that we as The Armidale School get behind the cause this weekend, and dust off any pink caps or shoelaces you might have for our students to wear, in support of the day. Further, grounds around the region will be taking a gold coin donation upon arrival, and I ask that wherever possible our students and families can contribute. Finally, don’t be shy – get out anything pink for the sidelines in recognition of a great cause!
Mr Will Waterson
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
TAS Creative Arts has enjoyed a bright and positive start to the year with the return of our beloved Drama teacher Mrs Leasa Cleaver and the addition of Mr Thomas Collett and Miss Charlotte Low in Music. Mrs Cleaver has come back from maternity leave to take up our Year 11 Drama class and get busy with the costumes for Sweeney Todd. In Music, Mr Collett and Miss Low have hit the ground running meeting our talented students, taking up the reigns of ensembles and choirs, and assisting with the return of many of our valued program components after the restrictions placed in 2020. It’s not completely business as usual in the Creative Arts, we still have a few hurdles in front of us, but with this dynamic team working alongside our dedicated and enthusiastic students I am sure we will be rebooting the creative culture in a powerful and meaningful way in 2021.
Sweeney Todd kicked off the year with our annual Camp held a few days before term’s start. Hoskins was full of cast members practicing (distanced) ensemble numbers, learning dances and nailing down some of the more challenging parts of the show – for anyone who is familiar with Stephen Sondheim, you could rightly describe the whole production as “challenging parts”. But they’re already doing an incredible job and we continue to look towards March in the hope our performance schedule shall happen as intended, so keep your eyes out for updates and ticket information!
Our Co-curricular program is back up and running at full speed, with information about bands and ensembles coming from Ms Roobol, Theatresports information from Mr Wheatley, Technical Production Team updates from Mr Cornford, and I have been sending a few things along the way as well. Be you new to TAS or an old hand, if you have any interest in any part of our fabulous Creative Arts program please visit the Hoskins Centre office or chat to our amazing teachers to find out what you can be involved in.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
Middle School is off to a slightly revamped start in 2021, partly assisted by the wonderful opportunity for students to forge new friendships and renew existing ones, at Coffs Coast Adventure Centre at Boambi (for all of Year 7) and the Park Beach Coast Weekend (Year 6 and 8 boarders). It’s important that students have as many opportunities as possible to be together in different contexts and settings – especially at the beginning of the year.
On Friday afternoon I travelled to the coast with nearly all of our Year 7 students and the other staff mentioned herein. Some activities they were treated to were really enjoyable and these, combined with the continued forging of new friendship groups, excellent food, and accommodation encouraged people to work together in an environment as far away from classrooms as possible. The time away was simultaneously tiring and refreshing: we were fortunate to have it and it’s an orientation weekend we need to continue to have so that all have the opportunity to work together as Middle School people: boys, girls, boarders and day students, together.
Thanks go to Mrs Regina Pollard, Mrs Elaine McKellar, Ms Yolanda Kreuzen, Mrs Alix Goudge, Mr Andrew Wheatley, Mr Gordon Arndt and Mr Gavin Latham – for their assistance, forbearance and kindness – our Year 7s were very lucky to have their combined expertise. In fact, this could be the Middle School mantra at the moment for practically all matters Middle School-related. On Saturday night we had a visit from Girls’ Boarding and medical staff.
Thus far, your children are faring well and I’m both happy and relieved to be able to report this to you. For those of you who are boarding parents and, particularly for those who have had some challenging calls, remember this: tears are normal, being a manifestation of the regard your children hold you in – simply they are being normal and they miss you and, as parents, you need to take comfort from the these combined facts. Remember though, we are here and, especially at the moment,
we’re here for whole families. If you have queries just contact us.
We’ve done ‘firsts’ of pretty much everything now and as the weeks progress these new experiences will become routines that are familiar and, increasingly, easy to manage. Be assured we’re keeping an ear to the ground and we’ll keep you fully informed about the information you need to know. We’ve navigated new classes, experienced whole and Middle School Assemblies, completed prep sessions, had Chapel services, begun sports, and, in the Middle School Assembly yesterday, we completed a virtual tour of the whole school.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
Coast Weekend passed in a blast, it was really enjoyable. I think I can say for everyone that overcoming your fears is the best feeling in the world. When you’re that kid harnessed to the giant swing you feel like your insides are your outsides. But the exhilarating feeling of falling and then soaring like a bird is something I will never forget.
Mila Downes Year 7
MRS RACHEL PIDDINGTON
This year I am very excited to announce that we have a new Middle School award system. Just like our Junior School, our award system is based around the IB Learner Profile. The IB Learner Profile is made up of 10 attributes that are the fundamentals to being an engaged learner. The attributes are:
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR IAN LLOYD
I extend a very warm welcome to our new and returning families in the TAS Junior School for 2021. With the start of school now well behind us, it has been very pleasing to note how quickly and happily our students have settled. It is a very busy term and I am usually left wondering whether we set a precedent by packing so much into it! If you have any questions about the term and all its events, please do not hesitate to call us at Reception on 6776 5817. If our Junior School Administrative Assistant, Mrs Sandra Lasker, is to yet to be your new, best friend at TAS, she soon will be.
We are extremely fortunate to welcome Miss Charlotte Low, who is teaching Junior School Music, Mr Gordon Arndt who will be leading our STEM program, Mrs Sara Brown and Miss Jaime Curran who join us as Teaching Assistants. This term we will also have the considerable assistance of our three new Gappies Joe Lacey, Alex Horder and Abigail Dods. In a couple of weeks, we will be farewelling Oaty Pilane as she heads to university to study.
We are very pleased that we can meet in our class groups to introduce the year to you all. Each family has the chance to meet with their classroom teachers to gain an oversight of the classroom structures and routines. It also provides the opportunity to exchange information for the benefit of all and as such, it is an important occasion. Please stay in touch with your teachers and let us know how the year is unfolding for you.
General Consent forms have been mailed out to all parents. If you did not receive one, please contact us to ensure your email details are correctly recorded. This consent for local excursions eliminates the paperwork required for minor excursions that occur in each class from time to time. All major excursions (Lake Keepit, da Vinci in Sydney, Representative sport, etc) will be notified using a specific excursion form and information letter.
Head of School, Mr Alan Jones, has written about the impact of COVID restrictions on our school community. In Junior School there will be information from time to time that relates specifically to our (primary) school. During class time, any visitor to TAS Junior School must sign in using the sign-in iPad in the Junior School reception AND register with the Services NSW QR code which is located there and at many locations throughout the School. Please use the hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing at all times.
Each Wednesday (as advertised in TAS Talks, one class from Junior School will host our assembly and, to allow parents equal opportunity to see their children, only parents from this class may attend. Where possible, these and other events will be live-streamed for viewing at a later time. In addition to the above requirements, parents should remain socially distanced in the back rows of the Hoskins Theatre and not congregate on campus either before or after the event.
Swimming and Athletics Carnival
In addition to this, for our carnivals, outside seating will be made available at the swimming pool and parents are encouraged to use this to assist with social distancing. As numbers are limited, please register your intention to attend through the Junior School Reception or firstname.lastname@example.org
As you may know, when Mr Scott retired so did his Engineering, Coding and Chess club with him….. however, we do have an update about the following Clubs as we pursue a couple of leads for new activities in 2021.
I am really pleased to see the take up of the new aspects of our Junior School uniform. While some items are on back order, our students are looking very sharp and I am sure they are feeling very presentable as well. Please ensure all uniform is neat and tidy as they leave you and this week, we will be looking at haircuts as well to make sure all are tidy and presentable and that girls are wearing the navy blue hair ribbon if necessary, as described in the Junior School Uniform list.
A quick reminder please, that the daily supervision in Junior School begins at 8.15 am. If children are arriving earlier for clubs or other teacher-supervised activities, they must remain there with the teacher at all times.
And after school, it is important that students do not wander unsupervised, while they wait for other activities (sport, late collection etc) and we will request that the After School Club service is used to minimise the risks. You will have noticed increased fencing in Junior School as we continue to work to improve this area for all our students while they are in our care.
And…what are – “The Three Steps”?
Showing empathy, compassion and respect for the needs and feelings of others requires awareness and at the end of the day, practice. As part of our PYP, we emphasise the “The Three Steps” at school and we would like you to discuss this at home and help all our students improve their understanding of resolving difficult situations.
We believe our students can make a difference themselves when dealing with some difficult situations at school, while allowing them to have the support they may need in others. We explain that it is OK to miss step 1 or 2 if behaviour is dangerous or serious, but it encourages them to take some ownership of the situation confronting them as well.
Rather than simply going to “tell” the teacher, we encourage children to say:
Step 1 – “Please stop doing/saying that. I don’t like it.”
Step 2 – “I’ve asked you to stop. If you do it again, I will go and talk to a teacher.
Step 3 – “I am going to talk to a teacher.”
We encourage students to talk to the teachers, rather than “tell”. In doing so, students have the opportunity to retain some of the responsibility for “fixing” the situation. Of course, this skill is a difficult one. So, please discuss this strategy with your children at home and perhaps let them explore this process when you have the chance. If we all develop a similar approach to such situations, I am sure it will pay dividends both at home and at school.
|Wednesday 3 February||Music Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Thursday 4 February||Years 3 & 5 Information Evening – JS Undercover area (6-7 pm)|
|Friday 5 February||Year 3 to Thalgarrah|
|Wednesday 10 February||Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Thursday 11 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival|
|Monday 15 February||TAS Scholarship and Open Day|
|Wednesday 17 February||Year 4 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Week 5 – Excursion Week|
|Monday 22 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 23 February||Year 4 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 24 February||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Thursday 25 February||Year 2 to Lake Keepit|
|Friday 26 February||All return from Lake Keepit|
Happy Birthday to our students that celebrated their special days in the holidays and to the following students that had their birthdays last week and this coming week: Cecilia Price, Leo Thavapalasundaram, Boyd Rogers, Oliver Maxwell and Arabella Hodges.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
MRS VERONICA WATERS
This week I will outline what units are being covered in each of our classes to commence the school year. For those families new to TAS our school offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This involves our teachers planning transdisciplinary units of inquiry, which have been carefully mapped to ensure all NESA outcomes have been covered and taught across each year group/stage. I will explain the essential elements of the programme in the weeks to come.
Each year group work under a Transdisciplinary Theme, which they explore through a big idea-the Central Idea. The Central Idea is then unpacked through Lines of Inquiry, which are conceptually founded.
Mrs Veronica Waters
|Year Group||Transdisciplinary Theme||Central Idea||Lines of Inquiry|
|Transition||Who we are||Relationships with those around us help shape us as people||Our interactions in different environments at school |
My actions affect myself and others
The people we interact with
|Kindergarten||Who we are||Everyday we learn more about ourselves and our families||Places we live in and belong to |
Looking after things we care about
|Year 1||Who we are||People share their feelings, beliefs and values through cultural traditions||How and why people celebrate |
Similarities and differences between global celebrations
The importance of family traditions in shaping beliefs and values
|Year 2||Who we are||Connections people have with places||Places located in Australia |
People’s connection to places
Factors affect peoples connection to places
|Year 3||Sharing the planet||Living things need to adapt in order to survive||Adaptations of living |
Life cycles of living things
Survival of living things
|Year 4||Who we are||Communities and cultures differ across the world||Each culture has its own beliefs and values|
Australia is a multicultural society
Our beliefs and values may influence action taken
|Year 5||Sharing the planet||Management of the environment to produce food and fibre||Sustainable production of food and fibre |
The impact of natural disasters on food and fibre production
Sustainable practices of the past, present and future
Welcome back to our summer sports season. As we continue on from last year, most of you will be aware of what team or sports group you are in. Most coaches remain the same as last year and should have been in contact with you this week in regard to games for Term 1. All sports training will commence in Week 2.
If you are new to our Junior School and are interested in joining a team or playing a sport this term, please contact Mrs Christine Wright at email@example.com so she can arrange this for you in Week 1. After Week 1 please contact Mrs Sandra Lasker at reception.
Information about all summer sports can be found on the TAS website.
All children will bring home a swimming nomination form this week. Children may nominate in as many events as they wish to, however, if your child can swim 50m they must enter the 50m event only (not the 25m and the 50 event)
The 25m events are organised for those who cannot swim 50m.
Please return all swimming nomination forms to your class teacher by Monday, 1st February.
More information about our Junior School Swimming carnival will be in next week’s TAS talks.
Re-registering for Basketball this term:
Please read the information from the Armidale Basketball Association in regard to registering for games this term.
Minibasketball games for players in years 3-6 will begin on Monday 8th Feb.
Years 3 & 4 will be at 4pm and players in Years 5 & 6 will be at 5pm. Both new and returning players should register via the Armidale Basketball website at Armidale.basketball.net.au. There is a ‘Register now’ button on the right-hand side of the page. If you are already registered, you will just need to pay term fees of $50. If you are using the Active Kids Vouchers, you can purchase two terms of game fees to get the most value from your voucher.
Please contact your child’s coach in the first instance for any information on the start of games.
Please find the coach in charge of our various sports this term. If you are interested in joining a team please contact them directly.
Swimming – Harwood’s Swim School
No need to register
Ball Skills – Mrs Tania Hardin
No need to register
Tennis – Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon
No need to register
Gymnastics – Mrs Veronica Waters and Mrs Grania Fawcett
No need to register
Indoor Hockey – Mrs Anna O’Connor and Mr Gordon Arndt
Contact Mrs Anna O’Connor for registration instructions
Dance Group – Mrs Sandra Lasker (contact for Ms Collette Brazier)
No need to register
Cricket – Ms Emily McDonough
MIC Cricket – Mr Will Waterson
Please register your child through the following link: www.playcricket.com.au
Basketball – Mrs Lana Hawksford
Please register your child through the following link: armidale.basketball.net.au
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator